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PoliticsPA’s Chiefs of Staff Spotlight: Matthew Mazonkey

At PoliticsPA, we love staffers as much as elected officials. That’s why we’re bringing you the fourth installment in our newest feature, Chief of Staff Spotlight. Each week, we’ll introduce you to one of the people who make the PA delegation possible.

We’ve chosen at random, and this week we present Matthew Mazonkey, Chief of Staff for Rep. Mark Critz (D-Cambria).


What’s your name?

Matthew Mazonkey

Who is your boss?

Rep. Mark Critz (PA-12)

What is your birthday?

August 7, 1983

Where did you grow up?

Lower Burrell, Westmoreland County

Where did you go to college and what was your major?

University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (BA in Political Science)


What was your first political job?

My first political job was actually participating in a phone bank for a Republican running for local office. Aside from that, my first real political work began when I volunteered for the Murtha for Congress Committee beginning in the fall of 2002.

What was your biggest break in politics?

It was getting my first job on Capitol Hill in 2005 as a Staff Assistant for Congressman John Murtha. It was right around the time in my senior year of college when all my friends were searching for jobs or applying for grad school, and I still didn’t know what I wanted to do post-graduation. I had always wanted to run for local office, but then one day the Murtha Office called and said, “do you want to work in our D.C. office?” I immediately took the job, and I guess the rest is history.

How long have you worked with your boss?

Since May 2010.

What’s the worst job outside of politics you have ever had?

I don’t know if I necessarily had a bad job. I worked as a lifeguard and swim team coach throughout the summers of high school and college; and I had a job as an information desk employee in college.


What has been your proudest single accomplishment/achievement since working on Capitol Hill?

Coming from the district, I’ve always said that I’m most proud of helping to improve the quality of life for the people back home. This job has afforded me opportunities I never thought possible – yet the most rewarding aspect is still seeing the results of these accomplishments back home.

What is your favorite PA sports team?


Where and what do you eat lunch on most days?

At my desk…and anything I can find from the Longworth cafeteria.

Favorite “political” movie?

I don’t necessarily have a favorite political movie, but I do have a favorite political television series – The West Wing, hands down one of the best television series ever written.

Blackberry or I-Phone?


What political figure do you most admire (excluding your boss), and a sentence or two why?

Good question – for me there really isn’t a single political figure I most admire. I’ve had terrific bosses, and I’ve gotten to meet hundreds of politicians – and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses (and quirks).

What makes a Chief of Staff “good” and why? advice would you give to the aspiring Chiefs of Staff out there?

A good Chief of Staff has to multi-task, understand the issues, be a good listener, and have fun with the job. I’ve gotten to work with some of the smartest and most hard working people you’ll ever find – and it’s important to know that you’re one part of a larger team.

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